Yesterday morning, as I was enjoying my morning coffee on our back patio, I thought I heard the faintest tap-tap sound behind my chair.

When I got up to investigate, here was this little fellow (or gal?) hopping along and every few inches, jumping at the skirting of our house.

When I got to the ground with my phone camera, he obligingly stopped and posed a few times before carrying on with his mission to climb the wall.

Was he a frog or a toad? I had never bothered to check the difference because this is the first time I’ve caught a photo one of these characters in all of the time I’ve been photographing nature.

After consulting Professor Google, I learned that you can tell the difference by their skin. Frogs have soft and wet-looking skin, whereas toads are bumpy and dry. Yes, this guy (a bit smaller than the palm of my hand) was definitely a toad.

I donned a vinyl glove, picked him up, and released him onto our back lawn. Now I knew from years ago, from nurses’ training, that toads don’t pass on warts but in my research, I learned that they can carry salmonella, so this is why I took precautions.

Photo Note: Because the original photos were somewhat underexposed, I brightened them a bit in Snapseed, and then, for the sake of saving space, I made the collage for my feature photo in an app called Photo Collage.

“The toad has indeed no superior as a destroyer of noxious insects, and he possesses no bad habits and is entirely inoffensive himself, every owner of a garden should treat him with utmost hospitality.”

Celia Thaxter